A New Year’s review

by Dr. Ellen Cullman, FLT Columnist

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I like to review the past year and take stock of what I’ve learned and want to keep. In rereading my 2015 columns, I noticed three mindful eating principles interlaced among the 12 columns.
Mindful eating’s intuitive nature: Most of my clients have diet-mind when I first see them. Diet-mind is all the knowledge you have in your head about food whether or not it is true. It produces all the “good” and “bad” thoughts you have about anything you consume. When you come to see me, you don’t have to give up your diet-mind language, but you do need to learn a new language. It is a language that is taught to you by listening intuitively to your body. As you learn your body’s intuitive language, you realize that mindful eating is about a lot more than eating healthy or eating slowly. It is everything about taking care of you by building a special relationship between you and your body.
Mindfulness meditation: How would you describe your meals? I don’t mean what you eat but how you eat. Do you eat when you are hungry? Do you take time to eat, even if it is a small amount of time? Do you eat lunch at work or grab something quick from the snack room to appease your unruly stomach? Do you notice the taste of the food you eat and whether you like it or not? Does your body like how you are taking care of it? Learning to pause, slow down a bit and even engage in simple mindfulness practices will help you learn to take care of your personal and physical needs as you also meet life’s demands.
True persistence: Diets are easy in that they come in neat little packages. When you read them they intellectually make sense, especially if you are vulnerable with needing to lose weight quickly. Many diets have very good food, but the longer you adhere to them, the food they offer you do not want. True persistence is not about eating the same food over and over. It is about learning to drop “perfect eating” and self-judgments. It is about finding your calmness muscle when you need it and using it. It is about developing a plan when you know you will be challenged to eat yet genuinely do not want to — and then working your plan. True persistence is inside of you. Try working your plan and find out!
You will see these principles again in my columns. Keep them in mind as you practice mindful eating and thereby interlace them into your new wholesome pattern of caring for yourself.
See all of Dr. Cullman’s columns at http://www.firstlocaltoledo.com/columnists/dr-ellen-cullman. Call 419-494-7699 or email mindfuleatingcoach@gmail.com for information about coaching sessions, speaking engagements and education workshops.